Many companies put a limit on accumulated vacation hours, and for good reason. A few years back there was an interesting case that highlights the trouble a company could get into without it.
A Nebraska County employee, Dick Kincaid, had accumulated 688 vacation hours over 30 years. That would amount to a huge payout upon termination of employment or over 17 weeks of vacation if he had decided to take the time off. He didn’t, however, and he was eventually fired for it.
At first thought, it probably seems like giving holiday bonuses is pretty cut and dry. You either have the money to give employees cash or you don’t. But it’s really not this simple at all.
If you don’t give cash, then what do you give? Gifts? Time-off? A holiday party? If you do give cash, how much do you give and should everyone get the same amount? And what happens if you give nothing at all?
Employers have always faced penalties for misclassifying employees as independent contractors but now, with the Affordable Care Act (ACA), some employers are finding yet another reason to try to skirt around the law.
Under the ACA, employers with 50 or more employees are required to offer health benefits to their workforce. If they don’t make health benefits available by the deadline, the company pays a penalty. You can see, then, how some companies might want to report having fewer than 50 employees so that they don’t have to offer health benefits. One way to achieve this is to classify some of that workforce as independent contractors. But this isn’t right and it will get you into trouble if you do it.
Most people in the US probably don’t realize this but the United States is behind every other developed nation with regard to paid-time-off. Your average American probably thinks that getting paid to take time off is just for the elite. But this is far from the truth. Every other developed nation offers some benefits to postpartum mothers, and many of them offer quite a bit. As President Obama recently told an audience in June at the White House Summit on Working Families: “There is only one developed country in the world that does not offer paid maternity leave, and that is us. And that is not the list you want to be on by your lonesome.”
Employees new to online time tracking sometimes think that their bosses are cracking the whip when they start recording time down to the second, revealing tardy patterns, the true length of lunch breaks, and the real sick leave rate. While all that will indeed be revealed, tracking time online is just plain easy. Letting a system do all the calculations, run reports on a variety of criteria, and record expenses all in real-time is invaluable. Plus, a little visibility can actually be a relief. Sometimes the boss actually has the wrong idea about absences and tardy frequency. This can cause unnecessary tension. Transparency eliminates the guesswork and even helps to subdue some pessimism and blame.
In general, employers cannot deduct pay from an exempt employee’s paycheck. The amount of money an exempt employee makes is not based on the number of hours she does or doesn’t work.
An exempt employee must receive the full salary for any workweek in which the employee performs any work, regardless of the number of days or hours worked. There are a few exceptions to this rule, however.
Research conducted by the Harvard Business Review has shown that rudeness in the workplace is both on the rise and contagious. More people today report experiencing uncivil behavior at work than they did 14 years ago – in 1998 only 25% of people reported they were treated rudely at least once a week, and now it’s up to 98%. While their research didn’t set out to explain why more people bring their bad attitudes to work with them these days, it did explain how incivility can spread, how it affects the workplace, and what we can do to control it.